With winter setting in, spirits company Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt Ltd (ABD), has intensified its focus on the rum and brandy category. The group is soon going to launch Jolly Roger in the rum category and two new brandy brands in the semi-premium and premium segments. To support the new launches, company is planning to have exhaustive promotional activities in coming days. At present Ad and Creative accounts of the company are being handled by Metaphor Communications.
In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media, Ahmed Rahimtoola, VP, Marketing, ABD, said, “Going forward, the thrust this year is going to be the Brandy category. Brandy as a category contributes to 22 per cent of the total IMFL sales and is growing with 25 per cent.” Adding, “We are planning to launch 2 brandies – one in the Semi-premium and the other in the Premium segment. Also, we are in the midst of launching our Premium Rum Jolly Roger nationally this year.”
However, Rahimtooa denied any specific details on the promotional plans, but stated, “We will use OOH, Radio and large ticket experiential events to drive the message across to consumers. This will be backed by an aggressive visibility drive at the ground level and back to back trial generating promotions.”
When asked, since no direct advertising can be done for liquor brands, how has been your strategy? Rahimtoola admitted that this is always been a challenging task, especially when you are launching new brands.
Further, he noted that every category within IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) has pre-defined codes in the consumers mind. For example, whisky as a category stands for success, achievement, status, masculinity and bonding; Vodka on the other hand is all about liberation, youth, fun, partying and socializing. “The challenge, since you can’t show the product from an ATL point of view, for new brand is to operate within these codes and still be different,” he added.
However when it comes to BTL activities, Rahimtoola believed that restrictions are very few, hence when a brand is using ATL Media, it should be backed heavily by BTL initiatives(glow signs, display, POS, etc) so as to have a better connect.
Speaking on the brand activities on digital platforms, Rahimtoola shared that ABD’s Wodka Gorbatschow has always been a very active brand on the digital front. With the nationwide launch of ‘Whoever you are, Be Pure’ campaign across offline media, the group had to extend this concept online also.
Recenty, the Group has launched a premium variant of Officers Choice- Officers Choice Blue whi is a premium extension of our flagship brand ‘Officer’s Choice’. The brand was launched in 2 states i.e. Assam and Maharashtra. “The response from both markets from both the trade and consumers has been very encouraging and hence we plan to take the brand national by early next year,” said Rahimtoola.
The soon to be launched Jolly Rogers is priced at a premium of 10 per cent against the market leader. Lord & Master is being introduced in the Semi-Premium segment and is priced at approx Rs 400 for a 750ml bottle, and the Premium brandy will be priced upwards of Rs 500 per bottle.